Kenner’s “The Force” Lightsaber: A Whistling Vintage Lightsaber Toy

“The Force” Lightsaber is a vintage lightsaber toy produced from 1980 to 1984. “The Force” Lightsaber is the second toy lightsaber manufactured by the toy company, Kenner. An officially licensed Star Wars toy, “The Force” Lightsaber toy extends over three feet long and whistles, whirs and howls when the user swings and twirls the lightsaber around. The series of strategically cut holes near the top of the hilt enables the air to whistle through the hollow lightsaber. The toy does not require batteries.

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Kenner’s “The Force” Lightsaber is lightweight and maneuverable, featuring a plastic blade attached to an oversized black plastic hilt. The hilt is adorned with decorative silver color stickers, including a middle foil sticker emblazoned with an Empire Strikes Back logo (from 1980 to 1982) or Return of the Jedi logo (from 1983 to 1984) above the text “”THE FORCE” LIGHTSABER”, which is stylized with a Star Wars style font. The hilt design is not based on the design of any character hilts.

“The Force” Lightsaber is initially released with a red blade or a yellow blade. The red blade corresponds to Darth Vader’s red blade in Empire Strikes Back . The yellow blade does not correspond directly to any lightsabers in the Empire Strikes Back movie, however, the yellow blade matches the yellow lightsaber accessory included with Kenner’s 1980 Luke Skywalker (Bespin Fatigues) action figure.

In 1983, Kenner adds the option of a green lightsaber blade, to correspond with Luke Skywalker’s green lightsaber in the movie, and replaces the Empire Strikes Back branding with Return of the Jedi branding. Kenner discontinues “The Force” Lightsaber after 1984, succeeding the toy with the battery operated Star Wars Droids lightsaber in 1985.

American toy company Kenner produced officially licensed Star Wars toys, including lightsabers and action figures, starting in 1978. Although Kenner had been purchased by Tonka Toys in 1987 and Hasbro in 1991, Star Wars toys continued to be branded as Kenner until 1999, when the toys started getting branded as Hasbro. Hasbro continues manufacturing Star Wars toys to this day.

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